RIMTA-Trained Youth Launch Boats in Three Locales this Summer

There are a lot more young Rhode Islanders with boat building experience after this summer. Forty students built boats in three locations in RIMTA’s Youth Summer Boat Building Programs.

Boats built ranged from a Herreshoff dory built at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, to a 14-foot skiff outfitted with a propane engine launched in North Providence, to two rowing prams built in Newport.

While the boats are all different, the goals of each program are the same:  to expose Rhode Islanders to career opportunities in the marine industry and give more young people in our state work-readiness skills. The boat building programs are structured like a job: they run several weeks, full-time, Monday-Friday; there is a paid incentive; and students have to learn rules of safety and adhere to workplace standards such as showing up on time.

Graduates of the Newport program give their ZO Boat a sea trial at the graduation launch.

Supported by Real Jobs Rhode Island, these youth programs for ages 14 to 16 are part of a broader effort coordinated by RIMTA to cultivate the workforce needed to fuel marine businesses.

RIMTA views this effort as building a pipeline of workers: creating Career Exposure in summer programs, youth camps, internships, company tours, and High School programs; offering Entry-Level and New-Worker Training in apprenticeships and our Pre-Apprenticeship Program; and providing Incumbent Worker Training by gaining access to funds to train employees, creating networking opportunities, and offering professional development and certification training.

Developing this pipeline is a mammoth task, and the marine industry has come to a clear understanding that this is a job to be carried out by every national and state trade association and every business in our industry.

One illustration of that understanding is this spring’s launch of the “10+1 Strategy: A Marine Industry Guide to Growing the Workforce.” Authored by RIMTA, the plan is an industry-wide business plan for cultivating our workforce and a roadmap employers can use to take matters into their own hands. Read the guide here.

Instructor Kevin McKiernan (black shirt) looks on as students launch the boat they built in the summer program.

Rhode Island is fortunate to have all the pieces of this pipeline in motion, and Ocean State marine companies can use RIMTA as a partner in their workforce development.

Companies can become active with our programs by lending their expertise or facilities for tours and training, work through RIMTA to gain funds to train their workers, offer internships, and even consult with RIMTA before they hire.

Contact RIMTA Director of Programs Brian Dursi (email / 401-396-9619) to learn out more.